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What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ?

In order for our faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. To have faith in Jesus Christ means to trust Him and obey His commandments. Faith is much more than passive belief. We express our faith through action—by the way we live.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What examples of faith from the scriptures and lives of others could you share with the young women?

James 1:5–6; 2:14–20 (Faith is belief and action)

Alma 32:21, 26–43 (Faith is hope for things that are true but not seen)

Moroni 7:33–41 (Miracles are wrought by faith)

Esther 4–5; Hebrews 11:4–9, 17–29Alma 19; 56:45–48; 57:21; Ether 12:6–22Joseph Smith—History 1:11–19 (Examples of faith)

Bible Dictionary, “Faith

Quentin L. Cook, “Foundations of Faith,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 127–31

Bonnie H. Cordon, “Trust in the Lord and Lean Not,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 6–9

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Fourth Floor, Last Door,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 15–18

Neil L. Andersen, “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 65–68

Faith,” Young Women Personal Progress (2009), 13–20

Faith,” True to the Faith (2004), 54–56

Videos: “Pure and Simple Faith,” “Courage,” “Follow Him—An Easter Message about Jesus Christ”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Draw a simple rowboat, and label it “Faith.” Add an oar labeled “Belief” and another labeled “Action.” Ask the young women what would happen to this boat if it had only one oar. What will happen to our faith if we do not act on what we believe? Use the scriptures, True to the Faith (pages 54–56), or the Bible Dictionary to help the young women understand what faith is and how this drawing relates to it.
  • Ask the young women to write down the name of a woman in the scriptures who showed great faith. Collect their papers. Read the names aloud, and invite the young women to tell the stories of these women.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the young women understand what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will be best for your class:

  • Invite the young women to read Alma 32:21 and Helaman 5:12. Ask a few of them to summarize in their own words what they learn about faith from these scriptures. Invite the young women to find examples of people who had strong foundations of faith in Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk “Foundations of Faith” or Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice.” Ask them to share what they find. What can they do to build a strong foundation of faith?
  • Invite two young women to come to the front of the class. Ask one young woman to try standing in different ways (such as standing with her feet apart or leaning) and have the other young woman give her a light push while she is in each different stance. What stances helped the young woman remain unmoved? What stances made her lose her balance? Invite the young women to read Sister Bonnie H. Cordon’s talk “Trust in the Lord and Lean Not,” looking for her suggestions for how to develop greater trust in Jesus Christ and keep our faith centered on Him. Do the young women have any experiences they could share when they leaned on their own understanding and experienced the consequences? or when they trusted in the Savior and received the blessings?
  • Invite each young woman to come prepared to briefly share an experience when she persevered or did not give up in accomplishing a good thing. You might also share an experience from your own life. Invite the young women to read the story about the two missionaries in President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Fourth Floor, Last Door.” What can they learn from the missionaries in this story? How does this story relate to their own experiences? You might also invite the young women to review the rest of this talk, looking for things President Uchtdorf teaches about faith and circling statements that stand out to them. What else do the young women learn about faith? (The young women could use this talk and another in this outline to help complete faith value experience number 1 in their Personal Progress books.)
  • Invite the young women to write down a few answers to the question asked by Elder Neil L. Andersen: “How does the Savior see my faith?” (see “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice”). Encourage them to share ways that they can show the Savior their faith. What do they learn from Elder Andersen’s talk that inspires them to show and build their faith? For instance, invite them to review the stories he tells about missionaries who showed their faith. You could also bring in a box wrapped like a gift with objects inside that can build our faith (see examples in the section titled “Gifts That Enlarge Our Faith”).
  • Ask each young woman to find and share a story from the scriptures in which someone acted on his or her belief in Jesus Christ (see, for example, Esther 4; Mark 5:25–34; Hebrews 11:4–9, 17–291 Nephi 4; Alma 19:16–29Ether 12:11–22). Invite the young women to also write down an experience in which they or someone they know exercised faith in Jesus Christ. Ask each young woman to share the story she found in the scriptures and the experience she wrote about. Consider showing the video “Courage” as part of this activity.
  • Invite the young women to read Matthew 17:20, and ask them what they think it means to move mountains with our faith. Share the following statement from Bishop Richard C. Edgley: “I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed” (“Faith—the Choice Is Yours,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 33). Show the video “Pure and Simple Faith,” and ask the young women to look for mountains that were removed through faith (or share an experience of your own).

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Teach someone else about faith (such as a younger brother or sister or a friend).
  • Look for examples of faith in the scriptures as they study the gospel on their own and follow these examples in their own lives.